|The trig point on Ben
Vorlich. The summit is passed on the way here (200 metres to the
||Location: Loch Lomond
||Accommodation: There is a hotel and camping ground in
the village of Ardlui.
||Transport: The A82(T) road between Glasgow and Fort
William passes Ardlui where there is also a railway station. A summer passenger
ferry links with the West Highland Way on the
other side of the loch.
||Trip Date: 1 June 1993
The E-shaped ridge of Ben Vorlich (hill of the bay, 943m) lies between
the natural Loch Lomond and the man-made Loch Sloy in the northern Arrochar
Alps. The summit is at the junction of a long crescent-shaped ridge extending
north to south and the shorter Little Hills ridge dropping down to the side of
Loch Lomond. There are fine views of Loch and Ben Lomond from the summit and
Little Hills. Steep and craggy slopes guard the west (Loch Sloy) side of Ben
Vorlich but are easily conquered by the determined hillwalker. A surprising
feature is that there are about 5 different routes up the mountain and they are
all equally used. Thus any paths are not well defined lower down the mountain
giving a better wilderness experience.
The five usual routes are
(park opposite the Loch Sloy power station), walk up the road towards the dam
and then climb the undulating south ridge to the summit.
walk up to the Loch Sloy dam and climb the steep NE slopes to just south of the
Stuckendroin farm (1 kilometre south of Ardlui), climb up to the Little Hills
and then over a col.
From Ardlui, head
straight up Coire Creagach.
From Ardlui, go
up the private road to Garristuck cottage onto the open hillside where a path
is picked up over the top of Stob nan Coinnich Bhacain and south to Ben
The route I describe is a combination of the last two routes.
Walk south from the Ardlui railway station for 400 metres to a 'cattle
creep' under the railway line. Head SW up the corrie, keeping above the burn
for a kilometre. Turn more directly west and climb up to a small weir on a
side-stream. I seem to remember a path as far as here but the going becomes
less defined (and boggy) further on. Keep going west along the banks of the
side-stream until clear of crags on your right and then head north over the top
of the crags. This brings you to the foot of a gully that rises onto the col
between Stob nan Coinnich Bhacain and Ben Vorlich. On a fine day, a detour NE
up the top is rewarding.
From the col a faint path leads north up grassy slopes with the
steepening slopes into Coire Creagach on your left. Rockier slopes are
encountered in about 700 metres with interesting winding through various crags.
The north top of Ben Vorlich is soon reached and the ridge beyond is grassy
once again with a well-trod path along it. The summit is on a prominent crag
with the trig point another 200 metres to the south.
I had intended to exit via the Little Hills but the non-existent views
(see the photo at the top of the page) convinced me to retrace my steps.
However in better weather, you should drop steeply east from the trig point
down to a col (about 200 metres descended) and then gain 50 metres to get to
the Little Hills. These are the two distinct rocky tops that are crossed as you
walk further east. Take the NE ridge from the second top and walk over several
small knolls on the way down the ridge. Make your way to Stuckendroin farm
where there is a track under the railway returning you to the A82 road with
Ardlui about a kilometre to the north.